Approach to 3D Printing
New Metal Powder Design
NanoSteel’s powder portfolio is well suited for 3D printing as our alloys can be tuned to the respective cooling rates of standard metal additive manufacturing processes to generate superior properties. In developing new products for additive manufacturing (AM), NanoSteel uses a three step approach:
Application: The first step is to identify an unmet need for 3D printed parts where existing materials are either not printable or don’t meet the part requirements. NanoSteel’s first focus area for AM components are wear parts, such as those used in tool & die.
Alloy: Once an application category has been identified, the alloy needs to be developed to meet the requirements. NanoSteel’s development engineers evaluate the existing portfolio and design new chemistries to target mechanical, thermal, corrosion and machinability properties that meet the application specification.
Printability: Each selected alloy is then evaluated for printability on existing commercial metal additive manufacturing machines. This assessment must demonstrate the ability to print parts that are full density, crack-free, and geometrically complex. This is a critical step as many materials used in conventional manufacturing, such as higher carbon steels or tungsten carbide are not currently printable in most processes.